Canning Carrots

Canning carrots is messy. There's no two ways about it - the whole process is time consuming and messy. But the results are fantastic! There is something about canned carrots that taste so farm-ish. (Unfortunate that's not a word.) Serve them steamed and glazed, and you've got a delicious side dish - worth serving!

*Carrots are a vegetable - when canning carrots, always pressure can them.

How to can carrots

1. Figure out how many you'll need. For a load of 7 quarts, you'll need approximately 17.5 pounds of carrots.

2. Wash and peel your carrots.

canning carrots
Garden fresh carrots are dirty - and you don't want to can dirt (think of all that bacteria!). Even if you buy carrots at the store, they still need to be washed.

If you have garden fresh carrots, give them a preliminary wash and then begin peeling them. Store-bought carrots normally don't have all this dirt on them, so in that case just skip this step and begin peeling them.

3. Snip ends and tops and cut into coins. You can slice your carrot coins as thick or as thin as you like. Of course, you may also can them whole or sliced; but "carrot coins" are the traditional way.

canning carrots
4. Give your carrots a second washing. Use a large container, or fill up a clean sink with cold water. However you do it, rinse them with water until they are totally clean. Remember, you want as little bacteria in the jars as possible. Make sure that the final rinse produces sparkling clean carrots.

5. Cook carrots. Place all your carrot coins in a large sauce pan filled with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The idea is to get them slightly cooked.

6. Pack your jars with carrots. Fill your jars with your carrots, but make sure you jars are also full of the "carrot water" that you just fnished boiling them in. Leave 1/2 inch headspace.

7. Wipe rims and put on lids and rims. Remember that wiping the rims of your jars is a very important step. If you have food particles or sticky substances on your rims, your lids may not seal properly. Use a clean damp cloth to wipe them clean; and then dry them. Then place lids on and screw rims "finger tight".

8. Canning carrots. Place your jars of carrots in a pressure canner filled with water, and process them for 30 minutes - be sure to adjust processing time for your specific altitude!

canning carrots

9. Place your jars on a cooling rack or a tea towel to cool. Don't shake them or press on their lids until 24 hours is past. This gives them plenty of time to properly seal. You will know when they have sealed, because within an hour or two of removing them from your canner, you will hear them "pop". This is the lids sealing into place.

10. How long will canned carrots last? Most canned goods should be consumed within one or two years of canning them. Of course, your carrots will still be perfectly safe to eat beyond this time period, but then you will start losing the nutritional value. Make sure you store them in a cool, dry place - away from direct sunlight.

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